UAE launches entry permit for residents who stayed outside country over six months

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The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) launched an online service to reactivate residency visas for those who stayed out of the UAE for over six months, the Emirates News Agency reported on Tuesday.

By law, UAE residency visa holders must re-enter the country through any of its borders every six months to maintain its validity.

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However, those with a UAE residency visa who were unable to enter the country in the stipulated six-month period can now apply for the re-entry permit if they were unable to return on the grounds of study, work or medical treatment.

Reactivating the residency is subject to approval of the permit on a case by case basis by the ICP.

The updated rule adds to a variety of visa changes in the UAE, including an increase in the admin fees and an extended grace periods for those whose visas have expired.

Golden Visa

The six-month re-entry rule does not apply to Golden Visa holders in the UAE.

The UAE issued 79,617 Golden Visa in all categories throughout 2022, Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) said earlier this month.

The UAE’s Golden Visa program is a highly sought-after long-term residence visa that is designed to attract and retain foreign talents within the country, granting people the opportunity to live, work, or study in the country. The visa also comes with many exclusive benefits, one of which includes the issuance of an entry visa for six months with multiple entries to simplify the residency process.

The Golden Visa grants long-term residency for a period of either five or ten years, offering visa holders the autonomy to reside in the country without the need for a sponsor, the ability to work outside the UAE for extended periods of time without compromising the validity of their visa status, and the capability to sponsor family members.

Investors in the public sector and real estate, entrepreneurs, outstanding specialized talents, inventors, doctors, scientists, and creatives in the field of art and culture are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa, although some other rules apply, including investment amount.

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